The Humber Violence Prevention Partnership (VPP) commissioned Humber Learning Consortium (HLC) to deliver a series of focus groups with a diverse range of young people from hotspot areas, across the Humber sub-region.  The insightful report has a specific East Riding of Yorkshire section and case studies from Bridlington,  Driffield and Holderness. 

Young boy with hands on ears with adults arguing in the background


The Humber Violence Prevention Partnership (VPP) is one of twenty Home Office-funded Violence Reduction Units across England and Wales. Launched in 2022 the VPP currently includes:

  • The Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Humberside Police
  • The four Humber local authorities
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • The local NHS Integrated Care Board
  • The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities
  • The Probation Service. 

The aim of their work is to prevent violent crime in communities across the Humber region.

The VPP commissioned Humber Learning Consortium (HLC) to deliver a series of focus groups with a diverse range of young people from hotspot areas, across the Humber sub-region, identified using data from the VPP’s Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA). These sessions explored:

  • How safe do young people feel and the reasons why.
  • How young people feel about their local area and community, including the support, activities, and facilities available to them.
  • How young people feel about their future, their hopes, fears, and what change they want to see.

Key Findings:

Young People’s Experiences of Violence

The data revealed numerous Adverse Childhood and Community Experiences, with several participants having experienced more than one.

Participants related numerous examples of serious violence seen online and in social media. The evidence suggests a lack of supervision regarding social media, with difficulties arising around this where young people understand the technology better than their adult care givers. Violence seen online is perceived as less serious than in real life. Viewing violent content from a safe space, such as young person’s home, creates a distance to the harm involved for the young person viewing the content.

Schools emerged as significant finding. Participants reported many instances of bullying, including examples of serious violence and weapon carrying on school grounds. Young people felt that schools failed to address bullying, with ineffective measures against bullies or lack of intervention from teachers.

How do young people feel about where they live?

Participants living in Hull had very varied experiences. Young BAME females (11-16) living close to the city centre conveyed a high sense of vulnerability, as well as high levels of anti-social behaviour from older males in the area. Young BAME males (11-16) living in a different, more multi-cultural area, described it as safe and welcoming, with a strong sense of community.

In the East Riding, participants related a lack of employment opportunities and amenities. In Bridlington, particularly, young people were concerned about rising levels of violence and drug dealing.

Young People in North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby) expressed concern at high levels of drug use, drug dealing and gang activities. They related multiple examples of knife crime and conveyed high levels of poor mental health among their peer group.

Participants in North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe) related a strong desire to leave. They conveyed a lack of employment opportunities, with low aspirations and wages encouraging young people to remain on benefits. Young people related gangs and postcode wars in the area, with some neighbourhoods being described as no-go zones.


The data suggests young people taking part in the focus groups had poor relationships with schools and teachers, with current consequence systems further distancing already disengaging pupils.

Young people’s confidence in the police force was low. They were seen as unavailable and ineffective, or when they did attend, focusing on the wrong issues. However, individual officers were viewed more favourably and were regarded as trusted adults.

Participants reported difficulty accessing mental health services. When they were able to access services participants recounted that they were of poor quality.

Feeling safer

The young people conveyed a need for more safe spaces for young people, with a particular need among the 17-25 age group who are no longer able to access youth provision.

The data suggests that building stronger communities would make young people feel safer, although the participants had few concrete suggestions as to how this could be achieved.

Several participants called for more effective policing in their communities, with better response times and more visible policing on the streets.

Download and read the full report below


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